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- Overall Readership : 8 – 13 years old
- Approximate Word Count 30,000 – 55,000 words
- Main Character suggested ages : 9 – 14 years
The audience is broken into two.
Lower Middle Grade
Upper Middle Grade
The older MG readers aged from 10 to 13 years old.
Point of view: first person is the most popular right now.
Like books for all ages, there must be an outstanding first sentence and a hook. Humour is encouraged throughout the work to relieve the inevitable tension. Keep the story moving. Not all of it has to action, action, action. But if there is a quiet scene, best to be in the hero/heroine’s head working out emotions or planning their next move. Stakes are also important and must be made clear and age appropriate.
For example, if the hero sneaks out they will be grounded not shot.
All genres are welcome.
They are the same as young adult, however, when writing a mystery there are specific guidelines to consider:
- No romance—puppy love and crushes on teacher—are fine
- Crimes are kid’s size. For example: finding something that’s lost: doll, bike, pet, homework, treasure, parents, catching someone that is tagging and leaving graffiti, damaging property, following someone—a kid—that is sneaking around. Detective snoops around out of pure curiosity, etc.
- With most children’s books the less the tech the better—it makes the story timeless and it can be discovered by children over and over again.
Things to avoid:
- Not using a middle grade voice. Wondering what it is? Hang with some 10-13 year old kids.
- Preaching, teaching or being uppity. Meaning the reader is young and reading for entertainment. Not to be talked down to or taught something.
- No adults allowed. Meaning they can parent and make dinner, but mostly the kids are living the adventure without parental help.